Old Tappan Borough Council Weighs Aesthetic Versus Security in New Golf Course Fence

In a recent meeting of the Old Tappan Borough Council that spanned a broad range of local matters, the focal point became the type of fence to be erected at the end of Mavis Road on the local golf course, overshadowing other agenda items such as the inauguration of the Veterans Committee and the appointment of new law enforcement officers.

The fence issue stemmed from the need to demarcate the golf course territory, aiming to prevent wildlife intrusions and trespassing, while maintaining the area’s aesthetic appeal. The Sheridan family, whose residence abuts the golf course, were central to the debate, offering to finance a fence that would preserve the open view of the course from their property.

Torn between the functional demands of a secure fencing solution and the desire to retain the open and scenic nature of the golf landscape, the council engaged in a protracted discourse. Proposals varied from a six-foot black chain-link fence to a locust fence with an “agrarian look” that offered visibility and protection. The latter garnered considerable approval. Council members emphasized the need to strike a balance between security and the scenic beauty of the landscape, ending the discussion with an agreement to take time to consider all viewpoints before making a final decision.

In other proceedings, the council officially introduced Frank Venditti and Fred Fuglisi as the first members of the Veterans Committee, which is set to operate until December 31, 2023. During their appointment, both Venditti and Fuglisi expressed eagerness to undertake their new roles, emphasizing the need to update monuments in Oaks Park to encompass more recent conflicts. The newly appointed members also mentioned an upcoming open house meeting designed to recruit more members for the committee.

The council navigated through other administrative matters, including the discussion on the appointment of a Class 3 special law enforcement officer identified as J Hutchinson and the deliberation on ordinances 1237-23 and 1238-23. The former dealt with certificates of occupancy and lead inspections, while the latter focused on a capital appropriation of $48,000 from the General Capital Fund and the General Capital Surplus for vehicle acquisition. Both ordinances saw smooth adoption with no public comments.

Moving forward, ordinance 1239-23, which proposed amending recreation program fees and introducing a fee structure for pickleball court reservations, was reviewed. The pricing was delineated to cater to different age groups and residents, with a particular note that children under 12 residing in Old Tappan could play for free. The council clarified that the fees were exclusively for court reservations and unrelated to “Montclair pickleball”.

Towards the end of the meeting, the council shifted focus to the future, discussing environmental considerations, including a tree ordinance pending one more round of review, and engaging junior councils in the borough’s administration. Recreational updates flagged the delayed painting schedule of the pickleball court due to weather conditions, yet harbored plans for a grand opening.

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